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Brownsville, Texas
P.O. Box 4697
Brownsville, TX 78523

Attractions in Brownsville

Brownsville is a diverse city full of history that is surrounded by spectacular parks and wildlife refuges. The city sits right on the northern side of the Rio Grande River and just a few miles west of South Padre Island and the Gulf of Mexico. Needless to say, there’s a lot of jaw-dropping scenery to take in, interesting history to learn about, and plenty of culture to enjoy in Brownsville. And the first place you should start is at the many attractions in Brownsville, including the Gladys Porter Zoo, the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, and the Stillman House Museum. There’s much to see and do in Brownsville, so to help you out we’ve outlined many of the city’s attractions below.

Boca Chica State Park
Relax at Boca Chica State Park, an isolated wide white-sanded beach located 20 miles east of Brownsville off of Highway 4. Fishing, swimming, surfing, sunbathing, and birdwatching are all popular activities at Boca Chica Beach.
Brownsville, TX 78521
(956) 546-3721


Brownsville Museum of Fine Art
The Brownsville Museum of Fine Art displays more than 350 paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, and photographs produced by local and international artists at its 17,000-square-foot facility in the heart of the Mitte Cultural District. Temporary exhibits of historical artifacts or works created by notable artists are available as well. The museum is open every day but Sunday.
660 East Ringgold Street
Brownsville, TX 78520
(956) 542-0941

Commemorative Air Force Museum
See World War II through the eyes of America’s pilots at the Commemorative Air Force Museum. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and group tours are available.
955 South Minnesota Avenue
Brownsville, TX 78521
(956) 541-8585

Costumes of the Americas Museum
The Costumes of the Americas Museum features one of the largest collections of authentic North, Central, and South American indigenous clothing in the world. Each exhibit seeks to outline the vibrant images and patterns sewn into traditional designs that symbolize cultural or religious beliefs.
501 Ringgold Street
Brownsville, TX 78520
(956) 547-6890

Gladys Porter Zoo
The Gladys Porter Zoo is a 31-acre zoological and botanical park situated just minutes away from downtown Brownsville. More than 375 animal and 225 plant species are housed within the zoo’s four areas of origin: Africa, Asia, Tropical America, and Indo-Australia. Outdoor exhibits such as the South American Free-flight Aviary, Macaw Canyon, and a Komodo dragon area provide much to see, while the Small World gives children the chance to touch and interact with domesticated animals.
500 East Ringgold Street
Brownsville, TX 78520
(956) 546-7187

Historic Brownsville Museum
Discover the long history of Brownsville, where the first battle of the Mexican-American War and the last battle of the Civil War occurred, at the Historic Brownsville Museum. The museum, housed within a spectacular Spanish-style building constructed as a Southern Pacific Railroad depot in 1928, displays various artifacts and photographs that outline the town’s history.
641 East Madison Street
Brownsville, TX 78520
(956) 548-1313

Island Biplanes
Enjoy a scenic aerial tour of South Padre Island with Island Biplanes, located at the Brownsville/South Padre International Airport. Island Biplanes’ 30-minute tour in its open cockpit biplane takes you above the island, where you’ll take in a birds-eye view of everything that makes South Padre great.
973 Minnesota Avenue
Brownsville, TX 78521
(956) 433-9181

Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge
Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge is a sprawling 97,000-acre area that features subtropical, temperate, coastal, and arid landscapes. The protected habitat is home or host to as many as 417 bird species, as well as the endangered ocelot and various other wildlife. Refuge visitors can explore the park on the various wildlife watching and nature trails or on a kayak or tram tour.
22688 Buena Vista Boulevard
Los Fresnos, TX 78566
(956) 748-3607

Old City Cemetery
Much of Brownsville’s history is revealed in the Old City Cemetery, a historic landmark established in 1853. The cemetery holds residents of the town who lived during some of Brownsville’s toughest times. Various exhibits, cultural events, and educational programs are held at the facility, which is open Tuesday through Saturday.
600 East Jackson Street
Brownsville, TX 78520
(956) 541-1167

Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park
Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park is the site of the first battle of the Mexican-American War of 1846, a conflict that would shape the future of both countries. Today, the park highlights the history of the battle, and the war, in its visitor center and along the half-mile trail that leads to an overlook of the battlefield. Guided tours are available from December 1 until April 1, and the battlefield hosts historical reenactments on the first Saturday of the month from September through May.
7200 Paredes Line Road
Brownsville, TX 78526
(956) 541-2785

Sabal Palm Sanctuary
Sabal Palm Sanctuary is a 527-acre area that is one of the most uniquely biodiverse habitats in the United States. A great variety of flora and fauna thrive within the sanctuary, including bobcats, cottontail rabbits, and many endangered or high-priority birds. The sanctuary is open seven days per week and admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children.
8435 Sabal Palm Road
Brownsville, TX 78521
(956) 541-8034

Stillman House Museum
The historic Stillman House was built in 1850 by Henry Miller, owner of the Miller Hotel in downtown Brownsville. It was once home to Charles Stillman, the founder of Brownsville, and was a place where Porfirio Diaz, the seven-term president of Mexico, plotted to overthrow his predecessor. The home was owned for 100 years by the Trevino family before Charles Stillman’s ancestor, Chauncey, purchased it in 1958. Today, it’s part of a museum that has displays that tell a visual story of Brownsville’s evolution from frontier town to international hub of transportation.
1325 E Washington St
Brownsville, TX 78520
(956) 541-5560

World Birding Center at Resaca de la Palma State Park
Resaca de la Palma State Park’s 1,200 semitropical acres provide a sanctuary for as many as 277 native and migratory bird species. As such, it is one of the nine World Birding Center locations in the Rio Grande Valley. Numerous hiking, biking, and tram trails wind through the park and offer a chance to explore the area and spot some of the wildlife.
1000 New Carmen Avenue
Brownsville, TX 78521
(956) 350-2920

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Brownsville, Texas
P.O. Box 4697
Brownsville, TX 78523

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